Killer Whales Filmed Flipping Dolphin In The Air Before Skinning And Disembowelling It
If you've ever wondered whether a killer whale fully lives up to its namesake then look no further than this video:
Filmed off the coast of Africa, researchers not only captured footage of the orcas killing a dolphin, they also reckon the beasts of the ocean stripped its skin and disembowelled the carcass.
You can see the dolphin being tossed in the air between two killer whales, seemingly playing with their catch. But the dead dolphin washed up on shore a day later and the full extent of their dinner was laid bare - and it's pretty full on.
WARNING: DISTURBING CONTENT BELOW
The Namibian Dolphin Project was in the area trying to examine how an oil spill was affecting the local ecosystem when they spotted the killer whale's dorsal fin.
Researcher and NDP director Dr Simon Elwen said: "After about an hour they spotted a very quick rush at the surface back and forth. The larger killer whale lifted his body out of the water and revealed an adult sized Heaviside's dolphin in his mouth.
"We could see that the Heaviside's dolphin was bleeding but there was no further struggle and the killer whales dove underwater with their prey."
"The heavily mutilated, freshly dead carcass was reported on a nearby beach through the local strandings network.
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"I have only ever seen animals 'peeled' of their blubber and with their organs pulled out being caused by killer whales.
"So there's every indication the carcass belonged to the adult Heaviside's dolphin attacked in our footage from the day before."
He says that in more than 600 trips to that region, this is the first time he's ever spotted orcas.
While the footage was fleeting, it's provided the team 'highly valuable' data and gives them a new understanding on how killer whales hunt and eat their prey.
Getting hunted by a behemoth like a killer whale is scary enough, but imagine having your skin ripped off your body. You'd probably be dead by that point but it's still terrifying.
Thankfully, most of us will never be in that situation as attacks on humans in the wild are extremely rare.
A man was bitten by an orca in 1972 in California and to this day it remains the only well-documented case of an attack on a human.
Featured Image Credit: Caters
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